Embroidery provides meaningful discoveries through interactions and relations connected in the lived experiences of women hand embroiderers. A woman’s performance of her embroidery skills indicates the intimate connection of her womanhood, her daily life, and the kind of labor and effort she places upon it. Interviews, focus group discussions, and creative workshop reveal that social conditions from the past to the present, allow her to continuously construct her identity and negotiate her role in society. Embroidery has offered the women in this study an opportunity to create not only their identity as individuals but also as a community, and has helped them develop their capacities beyond realizing their womanhood. The presence of the problematics of gender and power is evident through the obvious contradictions of the empowered under disempowering conditions thus rendering their power and empowerment, symbolic.
The stigma and discrimination associated with sexual orientation and gender identity complicate the struggles of those at risk of getting HIV and people living with HIV/AIDS. The ability to shift from real world identities to online anonymity becomes empowering for these individuals, as they are able to pursue their fight against the disease. Through the emails sent to and published by Pozziepinoy in his blog, “Living with HIV in the Philippines,” we see how sexual orientations and gender identities are suppressed and ignored, allowing these individuals to face the conditions and confront other problems associated with this disease.